Posts Tagged ‘Muslims’

Turkey Says Israel Violating Human Rights By Installing Metal Detectors At Mosque After Two Policemen Gunned Down

July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017, at 11:06 a.m.

Turkey Says Israel Violating Human Rights at Al-Aqsa Mosque
Reuters

Palestinians shout slogans during a protest over Israel’s new security measures at the compound housing al-Aqsa mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey said on Monday that Israel was violating human rights at al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and called on global powers to take a unified stance in response.

Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said after a cabinet meeting that Israeli actions at the mosque were unacceptable.

Israel said on Sunday it would not remove metal detectors whose installation outside al-Aqsa has triggered the bloodiest clashes with the Palestinians in years. However it said it could eventually reduce their use.

(Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Dominic Evans)

Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters.

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Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Pan-Islamic body to meet over Jerusalem crisis

July 24, 2017

AFP

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

A general view shows the city of Jerusalem with Al-Aqsa mosque compound, scene of renewed Palestinina-Israeli tensions

JEDDAH (SAUDI ARABIA) (AFP) – The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation will meet in Istanbul next week for talks on the crisis around Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, after a weekend of violence left eight people dead.The 57-member pan-Islamic organisation will hold a ministerial meeting on Tuesday in Turkey, which currently holds the OIC presidency, a statement said on Monday.

Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at entrances to the highly sensitive east Jerusalem site, which includes Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of Rock, following an attack on July 14 that left two policemen dead.

“The issue of the Al-Aqsa mosque is a red line,” the Jeddah-based OIC said in a statement after a meeting in the Saudi Red Sea city.

“Attacking the al-Aqsa mosque in any way and under whatever pretext will have serious consequence and will lead to instability in the region,” it added.

Palestinians view the security measures as a move by Israel to assert further control over the site. They have refused to enter the compound in protest and have prayed in the streets outside.

Israeli authorities say the metal detectors are needed because the July 14 attackers smuggled guns into the site and emerged from it to shoot the officers.

Clashes have broken out during protests over the measures, leaving five Palestinians dead. Three Israelis were killed when a Palestinian snuck into a house in a West Bank settlement and stabbed them.

The site in east Jerusalem is considered the third holiest site in Islam and is the most sacred for Jews

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Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israel: No decision about Jerusalem holy site — U.N. to Meet

July 24, 2017

Image may contain: sky, tree, outdoor and nature

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s security Cabinet has reached no decision about the new security measures at a Jerusalem holy site that have set off a wave of violence.

The top decision-making forum met overnight and into early Monday to discuss the latest developments, including an incident in which a security guard at the country’s embassy in Jordan opened fire, killing two Jordanians, after being attacked.

The incident is threatening to complicate the crisis over the holy site, which is administered by Muslim authorities under the auspices of Jordan.

Israel set up the new measures after Arab gunmen opened fire from the shrine, killing two Israeli policemen. It says they are meant to prevent more attacks. Palestinians allege they are an Israeli attempt to control the site and have launched mass protests.

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Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israel bars younger men from Muslim holy site amid continuing clashes

July 21, 2017

AFP and The Associated Press

© Ahmad Gharabli, AFP |Palestinian Muslims pray next to Lions Gate, a main entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, on July 20, 2017, as they protest against new Israeli security measures there.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-07-21

Israel banned Muslim men under the age of 50 from a contested Jerusalem shrine on Friday, ahead of expected protests over the installation of metal detectors there.

Police reinforcements poured into Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods in the morning, particularly in and around the walled Old City where the shrine is located.

The security measures came just hours after Israel‘s security Cabinet reportedly decided in an overnight session not to overrule a police decision earlier this week to install the metal detectors at the gates of the shrine that is revered by Muslims and Jews.

The gates were fitted with metal detectors after Palestinian gunmen launched an attack from there last week, killing two Israeli policemen. Muslim leaders alleged that the metal detectors are part of a purported Israeli attempt to expand control over the site, which sits at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

Israel has denied such allegations, arguing that metal detectors are routine security devices.

Muslim leaders have called on worshippers to pray in the streets near the shrine rather than walk through metal detectors. Over the course of the week, growing numbers of Palestinian worshippers have participated in such street prayers, particularly in the evenings. Following such prayers, smaller numbers of Palestinian protesters have clashed with police.

CRISIS IN JERUSALEM OVER SECURITY MEASURES

On Thursday evening, police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters who, according to police, threw rocks and bottles.

Paramedics from the Red Crescent said 37 people were injured by rubber bullets, three of them seriously.

Friday is the highlight of the Muslim religious week, and tens of thousands of worshippers typically perform prayers at the shrine, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Muslim leaders have urged the faithful to forego prayers in smaller Jerusalem neighborhood mosques Friday and converge on the shrine, in an attempt to increase the crowd size.

Police announced Friday that Muslim men under the age of 50 would be banned from the shrine and that it was sending reinforcements to Jerusalem.

“Police and border police units mobilized in all areas and neighborhoods,” said spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Israeli media reported earlier Friday that the security Cabinet decided to defer to police on the metal detectors. The decision came despite appeals from key Muslim countries, particularly Jordan, to remove the devices.

Jordan is the custodian of the Muslim shrine. Israel and Jordan have close security ties, but frequently clash over Israel’s policies at the holy site.

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Israel Limits Muslim Access to Jerusalem Site Amid Tensions — Muslims angry after installation of metal detectors

July 21, 2017

JERUSALEM — Israel banned Muslim men under the age of 50 from a contested Jerusalem shrine on Friday, ahead of expected protests over the installation of metal detectors there.

Police reinforcements poured into Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods in the morning, particularly in an around the walled Old City where the shrine is located.

The security measures came just hours after Israel’s security Cabinet reportedly decided in an overnight session not to overrule a police decision earlier this week to install the metal detectors at the gates of the shrine that is revered by Muslims and Jews.

The gates were fitted with metal detectors after Palestinian gunmen launched an attack from there last week, killing two Israeli policemen. Muslim leaders alleged that the metal detectors are part of a purported Israeli attempt to expand control over the site, which sits at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel has denied such allegations, arguing that metal detectors are routine security devices.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Muslim leaders have called on worshippers to pray in the streets near the shrine rather than walk through metal detectors. Over the course of the week, growing numbers of Palestinian worshippers have participated in such street prayers, particularly in the evenings. Following such prayers, smaller numbers of Palestinian protesters have clashed with police.

On Thursday evening, police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters who, according to police, threw rocks and bottles.

Paramedics from the Red Crescent said 37 people were injured by rubber bullets, three of them seriously.

Metal detector placed this week at an entrance to the Temple Mount. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Friday is the highlight of the Muslim religious week, and tens of thousands of worshippers typically perform prayers at the shrine, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Muslim leaders have urged the faithful to forego prayers in smaller Jerusalem neighborhood mosques Friday and converge on the shrine, in an attempt to increase the crowd size.

Police announced Friday that Muslim men under the age of 50 would be banned from the shrine and that it was sending reinforcements to Jerusalem.

“Police and border police units mobilized in all areas and neighborhoods,” said spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Israeli media reported earlier Friday that the security Cabinet decided to defer to police on the metal detectors. The decision came despite appeals from key Muslim countries, particularly Jordan, to remove the devices.

Jordan is the custodian of the Muslim shrine. Israel and Jordan have close security ties, but frequently clash over Israel’s policies at the holy site.

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas during skirmishes with Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds (Jerusalem), June 26, 2016.

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas during skirmishes with Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds (Jerusalem), June 26, 2016.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/06/26/472239/Israel-alAqsa-Mosque-compound

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TEMPLE MOUNT TENSIONS RISE AS CABINET DECIDES TO KEEP METAL DETECTORS

BY TOVAH LAZAROFF
 JULY 21, 2017 07:15

 

The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Service) had argued against maintaining the metal detectors fearing it would lead to violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Security forces brace for a standoff with Muslim worshipers in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday afternoon after the security cabinet decided to leave the metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount.

“Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and to protecting the safety of worshipers and visitors,” the Prime Minister’s Office said. The Tel Aviv meeting began late Thursday night and ended in the early hours of the morning.

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The cabinet authorized the police to make any decisions necessary to ensure free access to the holy site, known to Muslims as the Al-Haram/Al-Sharif, while maintaining public order and security.

The cabinet essentially adopted the police stance, which sided with keeping the metal detectors. In addition, it was decided to restrict the entrance to the Temple Mount compound to the age of 50 and above.

The police said in a statement on Friday morning that it was decided to heighten security in and around the old city.

“Police and border police units are mobilized in all areas and neighborhoods and will respond to any incidents or disturbances throughout the day,” the statement reads.

The area of the Old City and the adjacent streets – including Sultan Souliman street – will be closed for traffic.

The statement added that there are intelligence indications that extremists are planning to “disrupt the order violently,” and that the forces on the ground are prepared to secure the Friday prayers.

Thousands of officers have been stationed near Temple Mount and the IDF has allocated five battalions to be used if necessary. On Friday morning the police prevented buses of Muslim worshipers from entering Jerusalem.

The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Service) had argued against maintaining the metal detectors fearing it would lead to violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Channel 2 that “once the red line has been crossed of automatic weapons on the Temple Mount [as seen in last Friday’s terrorist attack], there is a need to change the security arrangements.” He said the metal detectors should remain because the focus should be on preventing future terrorist attacks.

Jerusalem Police head Asst. Chief Yoram Halevy said his officers could deal with any threats, so there was no need to remove the metal detectors.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that he’s backing the police and that keeping the metal detectors are the right decision.

“The decision of Jerusalem Police District Commander Yoram Halevy to place these metal detectors near the Temple Mount is a brave decision,” said Barkat, “because this time last week we had two policemen killed. He is taking responsibility that things like this will not happen again.”

Barkat added that Israel should not be intimidated by threats and should not reward terrorism by backing down: “I welcome the police on their courageous decisions and cabinet for backing them up.”

“This is not a political issue, but a security related,” Barkat added. “No one is trying the change the status quo on Temple Mount, and I call on all Muslim residents to calm the spirits, avoid violence and listen to the police.”

Labor chairman Avi Gabbay said it was a mistake that the security cabinet decided to pass the buck to the police but he said that he believes the police and the IDF will stand up to the security challenge before them.

Zionist Union MK Omer Bar Lev, a former commander of the IDF’s Sayeret Matkal unit, said “the State of Israel fell into the trap laid for them by the terrorists to change our conflict with the Palestinians to a religious conflict between Islam and us.”

Bar Lev, who stated earlier this week that the metal detectors should be removed, accused Netanyahu and the Security Cabinet of “running from responsibility by leaving decisions to the police and rejecting the recommendations of the IDF and the Shin Bet security service.”

Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria, a former Jerusalem Deputy Mayor, said that in order to prevent an explosion on the Temple Mount, the security cabinet decision should have accompanied by intensive outreach work to the moderate Arab civil leaders of Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem is a complicated city and therefore solutions for it must be complex as well,” she said.

The situation was tense on Thursday night, with Muslims throwing stones and glass bottles at officers as they left evening prayers outside the Old City’s Lions’ Gate, according to police spokeswoman Luba Samri. Police responded with riot dispersal methods and five police officers were lightly injured, she added. Over 20 Palestinians were also injured, according to media reports.

The US and Jordan had worked behind the scenes to help Israel find a solution to the crisis that began last Friday, when three Israeli-Arab terrorists killed two policemen by Lions’ Gate. The terrorists were then killed in a shootout in the Temple Mount compound.

Fatah and the Wakf Islamic trust called on Jerusalem mosques to remain closed on Friday so worshipers could go to the Temple Mount.

“We object to these metal detectors because they seize the control we have as the Wakf to direct al-Aksa Mosque,” said al-Aksa Mosque director Sheikh Omar Kiswani. “This is a breach for an internal case: Al-Aksa Mosque is for Muslims – only for Muslims – and we will never accept these metal detectors.”

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians to head to the Temple Mount.

“My clear message to the Zionist enemy is that al-Aksa and Jerusalem are a red line,” said Haniyeh. “I say to the Zionist enemy that the policy of closure and of implementing punishment measures against the Jerusalemites and the holy sites will never pass.

You [Israelis] never learn from history, and do not read geography.

You are blinded by your power. My clear word to you is that you should stop, you are lighting a fire.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met in Ramallah with a group of European Union diplomats, and warned that the security situation could deteriorate if Israel continued in its attempts to change the status quo, according to WAFA, the Palestinian news agency.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov called for calm.

“I welcome the commitment of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to uphold and respect the status quo at the holy sites, and Palestinian President Abbas’s firm condemnation of violence, specifically the deadly attack on two Israeli policemen on 14 July,” he said.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Wednesday that the US was “very concerned about tensions surrounding the Temple Mount/ Haram Al-Sharif, a site holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, and calls upon the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to make a good faith effort to reduce tensions, to find a solution that assures public safety and the security of the site and maintains the status quo.”

Gil Hoffman and Udi Shaham contributed to this article.

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Indonesia Bans Hizbut Group That Seeks Global Caliphate — “Human rights outlaws”

July 19, 2017

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The Indonesian government on Wednesday banned Hizbut Tahrir, an organization that wants to establish a global caliphate, under a new presidential decree criticized as draconian by rights groups.

Hizbut’s legal status had been revoked to protect national unity, said Freddy Haris, a director-general at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

Image result for Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, photos
Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia protest

The decree signed last week by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo gives the government almost unfettered power to ban organizations deemed against the constitution and the official state ideology known as Pancasila, which enshrines democracy and social justice. Rights groups say the decree undermines the right to freedom of association and governments could easily abuse its power. But mainstream Muslim groups have supported it.

Haris said Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia listed Pancasila as an ideology of the organization in its articles of association “but in fact on the ground their activities were against Pancasila and the soul of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.”

The measures follow months of sectarian tensions in the world’s most populous Muslim nation that shook the government and undermined Indonesia’s reputation for practicing a moderate form of Islam.

 Image result for Islamic Defenders Front

Hizbut Tahrir, along with groups such as the violent Islamic Defenders Front, was behind a series of massive protests against the Jakarta governor, a minority Christian and Jokowi ally who was accused of blaspheming Islam. He subsequently lost a bid for re-election to a Muslim candidate and was imprisoned for two years for blasphemy despite prosecutors downgrading the charge to a lesser offense.

Hizbut, already banned or circumscribed in some countries, is estimated to have tens of thousands of members in Indonesia.

About 2,000 people from Islamic groups protested against the decree in Jakarta on Tuesday, denouncing the government as repressive and tyrannical, and another protest is planned for Wednesday.

Jokowi’s top security minister announced in May that the government planned to ban Hizbut but facing the prospect of a lengthy legal battle, Jokowi opted to sidestep courts with the controversial decree.

Separately, Rizieq Shihab, the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front, which gained a national platform for its hard-line views during the Jakarta protests, has fled Indonesia during a police investigation into alleged violations of Indonesia’s anti-pornography law, which his supporters say are trumped up charges.

Rizieq Shihab, leader of the Islamic Defenders Front, at a protest in Jakarta, Indonesia, in December. He fled to Saudi Arabia after the police summoned him to testify in a pornography case.CreditMast Irham/European Pressphoto Agency Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/30/world/asia/rizieq-shihab-pornography.html

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Philippines’ Duterte offers Muslim self-rule to counter IS in Marawi

July 18, 2017
Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing and phone

MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte offered self-rule to the Philippines’ Muslim minority on Monday (Jul 17) in an attempt to defeat militants who seized a southern city in the gravest challenge to his year-old rule.

Duterte hopes the promise of autonomy will persuade Filipino Muslims to reject the Islamic State militant group, whose followers still control parts of Marawi after nearly two months of fighting that had left more than 500 people dead.

Duterte vowed to shepherd through Congress a “Bangsamoro Basic Law” bill jointly written and submitted to him Monday by government officials and the country’s largest Muslim guerrilla group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“This moment is a significant step forward in our quest to end centuries of hatred, mistrust and injustice that cost and affected the lives of millions of Filipinos,” he said in a speech to MILF leaders and government officials.

Both sides said that giving the mainly Catholic nation’s large and largely impoverished Islamic minority a better choice was crucial to heading off the lure of violent extremism.

“These misguided people have filled the vacuum created by our failure to enact the basic law, and feed into the frustration of our people,” MILF chairman Murad Ebrahim told the same gathering, referring to the Marawi gunmen.

Muslims since the 1970s had waged a decades-old insurgency that claimed more than 100,000 lives in the Mindanao region that includes Marawi.

The MILF signed a peace treaty with Duterte’s predecessor Benigno Aquino in 2014 but Congress refused to pass the self-rule bill – a key provision of the accord.

Small rebel factions began pledging allegiance to the IS soon afterwards. The Marawi attack on May 23 was their first major action, forcing Duterte to impose martial rule across Mindanao.

The chief government peace negotiator, Irene Santiago, said Manila expects the bill’s passage within a year.

“The next 12 months are full of opportunity but also fraught with so much danger. The dangers are staring us in the face: Violent extremism, the source of the crisis in Marawi,” Santiago added.

An Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has been in place in parts of the south since after a rival faction, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), signed peace with Manila in 1996.

However it had failed to end violence and rebellion.

Santiago said both the MILF and MNLF helped to draft the new self-rule bill giving all sides optimism about its passage. Duterte is also set to decide within the week whether to extend military rule over Mindanao.

The constitution limits martial rule to 60 days, a safeguard against abuses put in place after the downfall of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.

However Congress can authorise an extension.

The military said there were still 60-80 gunmen holed up in about 500 Marawi houses and buildings after weeks of day and night air strikes and artillery pounding. About 300 civilians also remain trapped in the area and some of them have been taken hostage, the military said.

Source: AFP/ek
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/philippines-duterte-offers-muslim-self-rule-to-counter-is-in-9038982

Islamic leaders boycott Jerusalem holy site over metal detectors

July 18, 2017

The Associated Press

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)


© Menahem Kahana, AFP | A child rides a bicycle as Israeli border policemen install metal detectors outside the Lion’s Gate, a main entrance to Al-Aqsa mosque compound, in Jerusalem’s Old City, on July 16, 2017.
Video by Shirli SITBON
Text by NEWS WIRES
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Latest update : 2017-07-18
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Islamic leaders called on Muslims on Monday to boycott a Jerusalem holy site in a gesture of protest after Israel set up metal detectors at the site’s entrance gates following a deadly Arab attack there last week.

For the first time in decades, Israel closed the site – sacred to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount – on Friday, after three Arab Muslim Israeli citizens opened fire from the holy compound with automatic weapons, killing two police officers before they were shot and killed.

Israel reopened the compound to Muslim worshippers on Sunday after imposing new security measures, including metal detectors at the entrance gates and additional security cameras.

The Waqf, Jordan’s Islamic authority that manages religious affairs at the site, was outraged over the metal detectors. Dozens of worshippers have prayed on the streets near the gate after refusing to enter via the metal detectors.

Police said Monday evening that some 200 Palestinians tried to block a road nearby and threw stones at officers who dispersed them. A day earlier, minor scuffles broke out as some Muslim worshippers tried to stop others from using the gates, Israeli media reported.

Police said that despite the tensions, hundreds of worshippers had entered the compound.

The Waqf, together with other Islamic groups, issued a statement Monday calling on Muslims “to reject and boycott all the Israeli aggression measures, including changing the historical status quo including imposing the metal detectors.”

They called on the faithful “not to enter the mosque through” the detectors. The statement further said that “if the metal detectors continue to be imposed, we call upon the people to pray in front of the gates of the mosque and in the streets of Jerusalem.”

The fate of the compound, holy to both Jews and Muslims, is an emotional issue and forms the centerpiece of rival Israeli and Palestinian national narratives. Any perceived changes to the delicate arrangements at the site can spark tensions. Its closure after Friday’s attack prompted condemnations from the Arab world.

Jordan called for its immediate reopening and there were protests in the streets there against Israel, with which Amman has a peace treaty.

Israel did not coordinate the changes with Jordan, which serves as the custodian of the Muslim-administered site, according to a Jordanian government official. Jordan’s stance is that anything installed at the site must be approved by the Waqf, or Muslim administration, and cannot change the status quo, said the official. He spoke on Sunday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation with reporters.

The scene of repeated confrontations

Jews revere the site, where the two Jewish temples stood in biblical times, as the Temple Mount. It is the holiest site in Judaism and the nearby Western Wall, a remnant of one of the temples, is the holiest place where Jews can pray.

Muslims regard the same hilltop compound as the Noble Sanctuary. Home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, it is Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

The Jerusalem shrine has been the scene of repeated confrontations but Friday’s brazen shooting was rare because it took place inside the compound and also because the attackers were from Israel’s Arab minority.

A rash of Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers erupted in 2015, partly over tensions at the holy site.

Police have been gradually reopening the site. On Monday it opened to visitors. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the security measures “are to ensure and prevent further incidents or attacks” and would continue.

Jerusalem police commissioner Yoram Halevy said the metal detectors were necessary for the site to reopen.

“I assume that with time they will understand that this is not terrible,” he told Army Radio. He said that security measures of this kind are commonplace in the world.

“When I go shopping on Friday I pass through a detector at the mall,” Halevy said. “We see them everywhere they have become a part of our lives.”

In the past two years, Palestinians have killed 45 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shootings and attacks using cars to ram into Israeli civilians and troops.

During that period, Israeli forces have killed more than 254 Palestinians, most of them said by Israel to be attackers while others were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

Israel blames the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify violence and encourage attacks.

Palestinians say the attacks are triggered by anger over decades of Israeli rule in territories they claim for their future state.

(AP)

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Muslims heed calls to avoid holy site over Israeli security measures

July 17, 2017

AFP

© AFP / by Majeda El-Batsh | Palestinians chant slogans outside the Lions Gate, a main entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, due to newly implemented security measures by Israeli authorities, in Jerusalem’s Old City on July 17, 2017

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Muslims heeded calls Monday not to enter a Jerusalem holy site and protested outside after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at entrances to the ultra-sensitive compound following an attack that killed two policemen.The compound was largely empty on Monday apart from tourists and Jewish visitors, with Muslims again praying and protesting outside the site instead of entering through the metal detectors.

The Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, includes the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Several hundred people could be seen praying outside two different entrances to the site around midday on Monday.

There were protests after the prayer, with crowds shouting: “Aqsa mosque, we sacrifice our souls and our blood.” Police later sought to move them back.

“We will not break the solidarity of the people,” said Jamal Abdallah, a Palestinian who now lives in the US state of Arizona and was planning to visit Al-Aqsa, but changed his mind when he was told of the situation.

Israel installed the metal detectors after Friday’s attack near the holy site that saw three Arab Israelis open fire on Israeli police.

They then fled to the compound, where they were shot dead by security forces.

It was among the most serious incidents in Jerusalem in recent years and heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

Israel took the highly unusual decision of closing the compound for Friday prayers, triggering anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site’s custodian.

The site remained closed on Saturday, while parts of Jerusalem’s Old City were also under lockdown.

Israeli authorities said the closure was necessary to carry out security checks, adding that the assailants had come from within the holy site to commit the attack.

They began reopening it on Sunday, but with metal detectors in place, while security cameras were also being installed in the area.

Al-Aqsa officials have refused to enter and have called on worshippers to do the same.

Palestinians view the new measures as Israel asserting further control over the site.

Crowds chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) as they gathered near the Lions Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday.

On Sunday night, skirmishes broke out between Israeli police and worshippers outside the entrance, with the Red Crescent reporting 17 people wounded.

With tensions high, two mosques in the northern Israeli Arab town of Maghar were targeted overnight, one with a stun grenade and another by gunshots. No serious damage was reported.

One of the two policemen killed in the attack lived in Maghar. Both of the officers were from the Druze minority, Arabs who belong to an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

– Netanyahu order –

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the decision to install the metal detectors and cameras following a meeting with security officials on Saturday.

He also spoke by phone with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Saturday night before leaving on a trip to France and Hungary.

Abdullah condemned the attack, but also called on Netanyahu to reopen the Al-Aqsa compound and stressed the need to “avoid any escalation at the site”.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas conveyed a similar message to Netanyahu when the two spoke by phone on Friday in the wake of the attack.

Proposals to change security measures at the compound have sparked controversy in the past.

A plan developed in 2015 between Israel and Jordan to install cameras at the site itself fell apart amid disagreement over how they would be operated.

The Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

It is considered the third holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews.

Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

by Majeda El-Batsh
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Israel reopens Jerusalem mosques after attack — But Muslim worshippers were refusing to enter due to new security measures

July 16, 2017

AFP

© Thomas Coex, AFP | Israeli authorties are reopening the holy site, 16 July 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-07-16

Israel reopened an ultra-sensitive holy site Sunday closed after an attack that killed two policemen, but Muslim worshippers were refusing to enter due to new security measures including metal detectors and cameras.

Crowds chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) as a number of initial visitors entered Jerusalem’sHaram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

The flashpoint holy site includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

But midday Muslim prayers were held outside the site due to the new security measures.

“We reject the changes imposed by the Israeli government,” Sheikh Omar Kiswani, Al-Aqsa director, told reporters outside.

Image result for Sheikh Omar Kiswani, Al-Aqsa director, photos

“We will not enter through these metal detectors.”

Three Arab Israeli assailants opened fire on Israeli police Friday in Jerusalem’s Old City before fleeing to the compound.

Israeli authorities said they had come from the flashpoint holy site to commit the attack.

Image result for Sheikh Omar Kiswani, Al-Aqsa director, photos

Israel took the highly unusual decision to close the Al-Aqsa mosque compound for Friday prayers, triggering anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site’s custodian.

The site remained closed on Saturday, while parts of Jerusalem’s Old City were also under lockdown.

Israeli authorities said the closure was necessary to carry out security checks and announced it would reopen the compound Sunday.

Police said Sunday that so far two gates leading to the holy site had been opened, equipped with metal detectors.

(AFP)

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